Sunday, April 30, 2017

Mexican Corn with Lemon and Chile


"This Mexican corn or corn in the cup, with lemon and chile is totally addicting. Combining the sweetness of corn, the heat of chile, the zestiness of lemon, and some salty cheese puts this over the top. Don't let the simplicity of this recipe fool you. This corn is killer!"

Ages ago we used to take the kids over to North Federal on hot Saturday afternoons and order New Mexican food at Jack-n-Grill. We almost believed we were in Mexico as we watched the hot rod cruisers speeding and dodging down the street. The patio wasn't fancy and nor was the food, but what food it was. Spicy green chile, massive burgers, and corn in the cup, were just a few our our faves.

Besides the kids growing up and leaving the nest, Jack I think, flew the coop, too. Somehow the place just doesn't feel the same, but wishful thinking keeps us going back here and there. They even opened up a closer location, but we gave up on that a long time ago. Bummer that it just wasn't the same. We have very fond memories of Jack and the Grill. However one thing we did take away from Jack was the famous corn in a cup. I've been making it for years and years now and this corn is the perfect side dish when there aren't any fresh veggies in the house. Well, actually it is always the perfect side dish, even if the fridge is full!


I know what you are thinking. Well, I think I do. It isn't often that I  open any cans in my kitchen. Besides tomato sauce and tomatoes and maybe some beans, I don't keep many cans around. However as a parent who had kids in the house, it is hard to escape canned corn. I love corn any which way and I have no qualms about the form it comes in. It is comfort food to me. So it is I have been making my version of Jack's corn for a lot of years. I don't know how he does it, but I can sure share what I do.

Jack-n-Grill's corn comes in a big styrofoam cup with a lot of spoons. If you worry about germs I suppose you could spoon it onto your plate, but we just used to pass the cup around. It was a great way to stave off hunger until the enchiladas or burgers surfaced. At our house I just make this corn in a big bowl. I've brought it to potlucks and served it at bridal showers and generally make it to go with burgers or dogs. It is as easy as opening a can and though it could be made with fresh corn cut from the cob, why bother when this is so easy. Truth is it always receives accolades, which I guess is why I've been making it for probably 15 years or so. Well that and the fact that it's easy to open a can when one is rushed and hungry and the kids are screaming. I may miss Jack-n-Grill, but I must admit, I miss those screaming kids more.

Mexican corn. Corn in a cup. I don't care what you call it. We just call it good.


More to Try:
      Elote Corn in a Bowl          Corn and Green Chile Pudding   Corn and Green Chile Chowder

              

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yield: 2-3 servingsprint recipe

Mexican Corn or Corn in the Cup

This Mexican corn or corn in the cup, with lemon and chile is totally addicting. Combining the sweetness of corn, the heat of chile, the zestiness of lemon, and some salty cheese puts this over the top. Don't let the simplicity of this recipe fool you. This corn is killer!
prep time: 5 MINScook time: total time: 5 mins

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 15 oz can of sweet corn, drained
  • 1/2 of a lemon squeezed
  • 1 t ancho chile
  • 1/2 T sriracha or cholula
  • 2 T parmesan fresh or even from the can
  • 1 T butter
  • More ancho chile and parmesan for garnishing
  • Cilantro (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a microwaveable bowl large enough to hold a can of corn, combine corn, lemon juice, chile, cholula or sriracha, parmesan and butter. Stir well.
  2. Cover and microwave for 2-3 minutes or until hot.
  3. Carefully remove lid and sprinkle with more parmesan and chile powder. Garnish with cilantro. Please note that all ingredients can be adjusted to your own tastes.
  4. Don't forget to pass the spoons!
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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Sriracha Cole Slaw with Gochujang and #Grower'sOrganic

"Sriracha Coleslaw with gochujang and peanuts is a new way to escape the standard coleslaw recipe. Filled with flavor and spice, this one gets even better as it sits overnight absorbing all the spicy goodness. This is one sure way to get my husband to eat his vegetables!"


It's been at least 7 months since farmer's market season and I am so happy that it's finally here. Not only that but I got the word from my helpful dog trainer that farmer's markets are a great place to walk and socialize your dog. Geordie is a super dog and loves going anywhere, but everywhere we go he creates followers, who have never seen a Skye terrier. I think he's had more photos taken of him, than my own kids have! Everyone tries to reach out and touch, which is why I need a dog that's well behaved. Generally he's very good natured, but I'm the one that needs the most training. Hence a trainer AND a trainer that recommends farmer's markets-well, so much the better!


Last week I had the pleasure of going to Grower's Organic which has provided high quality organic produce to Denver restaurants and groceries for over 20 years. This amazing warehouse supports many local and regional farmers and is also at the forefront of growing technology. Truly I think I saw the future!  Grower's Organic and Callender Farms are working in tandem on a vertical farm. So what you may ask is a vertical farm and like why is it way cool? I know you've all seen those tomatoes hanging from the ceiling and you've all heard of container gardens that take less space, but a vertical farm? Check this out: LED light strips provide crops with spectrums of red and blue which is required for photosynthesis. 


This freight container, (aka: energy and water efficient freight farm) uses only 10 gallons of water a day to produce what would take a farmer 1.8 acres, and this in only 320 square feet. Labor is just 16 hours a week and power usage is only 100 kw per day. Growing apps are done on a lap top or phone. Imagine taking the distance out of sourcing veggies and herbs and things that just don't do well in transit. Imagine the savings in energy. Imagine how much better and longer your produce will last if it is harvested closer. Imagine being able to do this all year long and not having to worry about weather! Imagine what this can do worldwide to help feed people? Yes, I did think this was WAY COOL!  Right now they are experimenting with herbs and tomatoes and I must admit I am curious to see how those tomatoes will taste!


But back to Farmer's Markets. If you are anything like me I always find myself buying way too much, but thanks to Grower's Organic, if I want, I can order a GOBOX, sized just for me. Yes, I can shop where the BIG BOYS do! Grower's Organic launched the GOBOX program in early March. Currently they are offering GOBOXes in small and large sizes, along with a  PRETTY UGLY box with $1 of the proceeds going to the nonprofit, We Don't Waste. In June they will launch a Foodie Box and sometime soon, a Juicer's box. Can't wait to see the foodie box! For more info on any of these visit www.growersorganic.com/gobox. Prices range from $17-$32 a box. Order your box and pick it up on a Friday or Saturday.  Additionally they have a small market where you can purchase additional produce, beverages, eggs, homemade tortillas, and more.  They sent me home with such bounty that I didn't have to shop for produce for a whole week! Thanks Grower's Organic!

All this being said, I'm not quite sure if I'm allowed to bring Geordie shopping. After all this is a working warehouse. What I can say is that this is a super find with super food and super people who will go out of their way to get you what you want. These folks have heart. They love what they do and it shows in every 56,000 lbs of fruit and vegetables that they move in and out of the warehouse all week.

Grower's Organic
www.GrowersOrganic.com
6400 Broadway #11
Denver, CO 80221
303-299-9500
6400 Broadway

With all the great produce Grower's Organic sent home with me I decided to make this spicy coleslaw. It is one sure way to get Manservant to eat his veggies. This recipe also let me try the Big B's organic apple cider vinegar that Grower's Organic supplies. It was tart and tangy, so along with the cabbage, red pepper and scallions, I was ready to roll. This is a great coleslaw for a BBQ and it's also great on BBQ. And we all know farmer's market season means BBQ season is not far away!



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A Few More Salads to Try:

       Fennel Cabbage Salad                   Mom's Secret Coleslaw            Vietnamese Style Coleslaw

                 



Yield: 6-8 servings   print recipe

Sriracha Coleslaw with Peanuts and Gochujang

Sriracha Coleslaw with gochujang and peanuts is a new way to escape the standard coleslaw recipe. Filled with flavor and spice, this one gets even better as it sits overnight absorbing all the spicy goodness. One thing's for sure...this is one way to get my husband to eat his vegetables!
prep time: 25 MINScook time: total time: 25 mins

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4-6 c Shredded Cabbage or 1 15 oz bag from the salad section
  • 5 scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1 carrot shredded
  • 1/4 c chopped onion
  • 2 T sriracha
  • 1/3 c mayonnaise
  • 1/3 c sour cream
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t celery seed
  • 1 1/2 t gochujang with garlic
  • 1/3 c apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 to 1/2 c chopped salted peanuts

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Combine cabbage, scallions, red pepper, carrot and onion in a medium sized bowl.
  2. In a large measuring cup whisk together dressing ingredients until mixture is well incorporated.
  3. Combine vegetables with dressing.Stir in peanuts. This may be eaten right away or allowed to sit overnight.
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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Cauliflower Gratin Casserole and Strike 3

"This Cauliflower Gratin Casserole has the right stuff. Made to be rich; this dish is filled with cheese and cream. Some might think of it as mac and cheese, except cauliflower replaces the mac. Reminds me of a steakhouse side dish-where often times you want the side dish more than the steak!"


With Passover and Easter behind us, it is always fun to reminisce. I loved having my folks here even though they almost froze to death in our 70 degree house. Zoe always brightens my day and I still wish she lived near by. Perhaps Alex could heed that message, too?  Passover found me cooking a few new dishes, such as a boneless leg of lamb that everyone tells me now beats out my brisket. I am not a meat eater, but it seems I still have the knack. The lamb was a great, very simple, dish topped with my famous chimichurri, (perfect for Spring), and lamb is less expensive than brisket. The mandoline sliced potatoes that the lamb dripped on, were also blue ribbon winners and even I had a taste of those. You know I love potatoes and these were outstanding, laden with onions and garlic and wine; we didn't have but a bite of leftovers. Isn't it awful to tell you about such good food and not supply the recipes? If you must have them, let me know, and I will get them to you!

Passover also found us in the plumbing department again, when my helper who was way better than last year's-remember the guy who didn't know how to wash a dish and told me he wasn't feeling well because he had gas? Well, thanks to Jeff  at Bartenders and More, we had a great clean up. I was a bit agitated when he told me we had a slight problem in the dirty dish filled kitchen. Well, slight was a bit of an understatement - but Manservant quickly came to the rescue when the hose on the sink broke, sending water over the counters, instead of on the dishes. Luckily it was a quick slicing off of the hose nozzle, and a bit of gorilla tape, that allowed Jeff to keep washing. I did end up with a clean kitchen and Manservant ended up with having to buy and install a new faucet the next day.


And then it was just this past Monday-thank goodness after everyone had departed-my folks to Phoenix, and Zoe for Hong Kong, where she will work for the next three months, when Manservant woke up and there was no hot water in the house. Yes, we knew our water heater had outlived its life-over 30 years old, this AO Smith heater had finally decided to conk. Ah well, she was good to us. So yes, this meant scrambling to figure out heaters and how to pay for one. I learned more than I wanted about water heaters and plumbers, since I really didn't want Manservant to attempt this- BUT- he would have. And yes, as of this moment, I do have hot water and a shower sounds pretty good, because ice cold towel baths are not so fun in the spring. By my reckoning, for those who think things happen in threes, this is three if I include the shower grouting, right?

But enough about my plumbing and back to food. Zoe requested a big steak dinner before leaving but my folks wanted Chinese, which she nixed - because after all she will be eating Chinese food for three months;  though she could afford steak every night in HK with the budget they gave her, I know my girl and that won't be the case. We did try, Yardbirda new restaurant on Pearl Street, no not Chinese but good comfort food, where actually this cauliflower gratin would feel quite at home.. Still thinking of Chinese, Sunday night found Manservant and friends at Little Chengdu, which like totally speaks Chinese. Can't wait to go back; it reminded me of China so much, but there were napkins on the table and no trash cans next to it!! Be different and ask for the Chinese menu and don't expect anyone to understand you. We didn't try the hot pots, but did get the Sichuan dumplings with chili sauce and the chili shredded potatoes-oh my-can't wait to get back. Damn, the eggplant was outstanding too! THANKS, @Laura Shunk!

But back to steak dinners. I don't eat steak but I am always happy to make those around me smile. I made the requisite sauteed mushrooms and did a great Caesar wedge salad. I even made crab cakes with my favorite remoulade sauce, so I would have something to eat, and Manservant could say he had surf and turf. Thinking of the steak houses with massive side dishes, that I prefer over THE steak, had me coming up with this cauliflower gratin. It seemed we had had enough of potatoes and though Zoe requested pasta-fettucine Alfredo, to be exact, I nixed that and went with cauliflower. I'm so glad I did. I've been munching it all week and was so happy with this veggie dish. Thinking also that Easter is commonly a meal where ham is served, I do believe those leftovers would work perfectly in this dish-just sayin'! Chop some up and throw it in, if you are so inclined. For that matter bits of crumbled, crisp bacon would work great, too, but I was happy with simple delish!

However you want it, this dish is a keeper-steak dinner or not. And now I'm off to the shower!


More to try!

      Mexican Grilled Pork                    Chinese Eggplant            Cauliflower Salad with Hummus

                


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yield: 6-8 servingsprint recipe

Cauliflower Gratin Casserole

This Cauliflower Gratin Casserole has the right stuff. Made to be rich; this dish is filled with cheese and cream. Some might think of it as mac and cheese, except cauliflower replaces the macaroni. Reminds me of a steakhouse side dish-where often times you want the side dish more than the steak!
prep time: 20 MINScook time: total time: 20 mins

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 blanched, cooked until slightly undercooked, large head of cauliflower
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 1/2 c Half and half
  • 1 T Worcestershire
  • 1 T dry white wine
  • 1 large cup shredded jack
  • 1 large cup shredded cheddar
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 t fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 to 3/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t sugar
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1/3 c mayonnaise
  • 4 green onions, chopped, reserving a few for garnish
  • 1 c Panko bread crumbs - approximately
  • Cooked Ham or Bacon - optional

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Spray a 9 inch cast iron pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients, except the cauliflower. When everything is well mixed, stir in the lightly cooked cauliflower. Spoon into the baking dish and sprinkle well with Panko bread crumbs.
  3. Bake until casserole is bubbly and the bread crumbs are golden. You may have to run it under the broiler to brown it. Bake for 45-60 minutes. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving, lightly tented with foil.
  4. If made in a freezer proof dish, this may be frozen for about 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and then bake according to above instructions.
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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Swiss Roll (Better than Hostess Hoho's!)



"This chocolate Swiss roll is the perfect dessert. I know it will impress your guests, but the best part is how good it tastes. Rich but not heavy, this cake will quickly become a favorite!"

It seems I last left you on my way to re-grouting a shower. If there is one thing I want you to take away from this blog it is, "Never. I repeat. Never...attempt this without a professional." I have done many jobs, but this is by far, without a doubt, the worst. I thought for sure that this might be the turning point in my 35 year marriage. The point that beyond return, but Manservant is still here and though I am missing 5 fingertips, the shower is done. The second point to remember is to never take on a large, messy project less than a week before Passover, when you know you will have guests arriving.

I have never seen such dust in my life. Dust covered everything. The ceilings, the floors, inside every drawer, into the living room, through the woods, I am sure all the way to grandmother's house. During this lovely project we also discovered that the tile person that put in this shower knew nothing about even grout lines. We had 1/16th grout lines. We had 1/2" grout lines and then we had 1/8th grout lines. This may not mean anything to you, but when one is using a dremel to grind out grout it is next to impossible to have the right bit on the end of the dremel which means possible scratches on the tile. Said shmuck also put silicone on everything which made getting the grout out even harder. I can't even tell you how many times we went to the hardware store.

OK. Enough said. I will never, EVER, do this again without hiring somebody. It is worth the expense. Please trust me. Do not attempt this at home.


So after sufficiently being worn out and without a moment to rest, it was on to the cooking marathon of Passover. I might have been a bit grumpy this year, but all is now well. We had a lovely Seder-even if things were a bit out of order. And yes, the word seder does mean order, because a seder follows a specific order during the service, before and after the meal. 

Since I already supplied you with plenty of great Passover recipes, I decided to share a Swiss roll cake that I made last year for a baby shower. It looks kind of Easter-ish to me with the lovely pink and blue colors, so I thought what better time to share this delectable cake. As a child I adored Hostess Hoho's and haven't had them in aeons. I thought I might bake cupcakes for the shower, but then thought how fun it might be to bake these gorgeous Swiss rolls with the filling corresponding to the sex of the baby. In this case, we didn't know ahead of time so no-it wasn't twins, but I did want to cover both bases. I used cute circus cookies for decoration because the shower was an animal theme.

Swiss rolls aren't hard to bake as long as you follow the directions. I baked a vanilla and a chocolate one. The chocolate had a whipped cream filling and the vanilla, a buttercream. I preferred the butter cream, but whipped cream is more traditional. Dye each filling however you would like. One could even stir some jam into the cream for a fruit filling. I'm sharing the chocolate one with you, because I'm a chocolate lover. And yes-these are like way, way better than Hostess Hoho's!

Happy Easter to all my Easter folks out there! Feel free to top this adored Swiss roll with those pretty Easter eggs. I am envious!


More perfect Easter recipes:

         Simple Egg Souffles                   Truffle Scalloped Potatoes                  Cheesy Pineapple Bake

                        

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yield: 12 Servingsprint recipe

Swiss Chocolate Cake Roll

This chocolate Swiss roll is the perfect dessert. I know it will impress your guests, but the best part is how good it tastes. Rich but not heavy, this cake will quickly become a favorite!
prep time: 60 MINScook time: total time: 60 mins

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 c sifted unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder plus more for pan
  • 1/3 c plus 2 T sifted cake flour and a pinch of salt
  • 3 large whole eggs, plus 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 4 T or 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 2 T confectioner's sugar
  • 1 t vanilla
  • Food coloring if wanted
  • Butter Cream Filling if you don't want a whipped cream filling
  • 1/2 lb bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 c heavy cream
  • 1/4 c milk
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 4 T unsalted butter, at room temperature

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 450. Line a 12 x 17 rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper and coat with cooking spray. Dust with cocoa powder and tap out excess.
  2. Combine cocoa, flour and salt in a bowl. Combine eggs and sugar in a heat proof bowl. Bring about 2" of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Set egg mixture over saucepan and whisk until sugar has dissolved and mixture is just warm to the touch. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium high speed for two minutes. Raise speed to high and beat until pale and thick, about 4 minutes more.
  3. Add dry ingredients by sifting cocoa mixture over egg mixture and using a large rubber spatula, carefully fold dry ingredients into eggs. When almost incorporated, pour butter down side of bowl and gently fold to combine.
  4. Using an offset spatula spread batter onto prepared pan. Bake cake until golden brown and springy to the touch, 6-7 minutes. Meanwhile dust a kitchen towel with cocoa. When cake is finished baking run knife along the sides of the cake. Invert onto prepared towel and remove parchment. Starting from a long side, roll up cake into a log with the towel inside. This gives the cake a "memory" so it will be easier to roll up with the filling.
  5. Beat cream and powdered sugar, until soft peaks form. Unroll cake and remove towel. Spread filling evenly over top of cake, leaving a 1" border around the edges.Tightly roll up starting from long side. Twist sides of towel tightly to secure cake inside. Chill for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  6. When ready to glaze, transfer cake to a rack and pour half of the chocolate glaze over the top and sides and spread evenly. Now spread remaining glaze all over the cake and refrigerate until set, at least two hours. Decorate as desired.
Chocolate Glaze
  1. Put the chocolate in a bowl.In a saucepan, stir the cream, milk and sugar over moderate heat just until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let stand until the chocolate is melted, about 3 minutes. Whisk until smooth, then whisk in the butter and cool slightly.
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